Is it possible to take too many supplements?
Yes, says Howard Sesso, SCD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Many large-scale clinical trials show that high amounts of individual vitamins or minerals don’t translate into greater health benefits.” What’s worse, getting too much of certain nutrients can put you at risk for side effects ranging from an upset stomach to birth defects and stroke due to brain hemorrhage. And although there are well-established useage guidelines for most vitamins and minerals, scientific studies aren’t conclusive when it comes to the safe maximum daily dose for many herbal remedies and other supplements, which means it’s smart to err on the side of caution and take a less-is-more approach, says Sesso.
To ensure you don’t overdo it on supplemental ingredients, be wary of those that provide more than 1oo percent of a given daily value (so-called “megadose” products), says Diane McKay, PhD, an assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “Your goal is to fill in gaps in your diet, not to indiscriminately dose yourself with vitamins, minerals, and herbs,” she says.